Hey everyone,

I am back from my little break and excited to bring you more conversations about small business magic in times of crisis. In this episode I talked to the wonderful Kate Litterer about breaking free from productivity culture, which felt both liberating and fun. If you’re feeling feelings about good-enoughness, setting your own pace and being a human in business I hope you’ll get lots out of this too! Here is some of what we talked about:

  • Living with chronic pain & finding softness around limitations
  • Untangling our sense of self from productivity and work
  • Harmful expectations and scarcity in academia
  • Valuing invisible labour
  • Our journey with pricing & accessibility
  • Drawing healthy boundaries around our work

Kate Litterer is a productivity researcher and coach who guides her clients to reimagine productivity and achieve personal success on their own terms. She specializes in intentionality, habit formation, mindfulness, and slow living…in other words, slowductivity. Kate runs the blog “The Tending Year” and writes a twice-a-month newsletter called “The Tending Letter,” both of which aim to make productivity and personal development more accessible and applicable. She is also a queer history buff, and is currently completing her doctoral degree in Rhetoric, focusing on the rhetorical contributions of lesbian author and musician Lisa Ben.

www.thetendingyear.com

httpss://www.instagram.com/thetendingyear/

You can sign up for my free summer workshop series here: httpss://pinkwellstudio.com/free-workshops/

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⋒ Hi, my name is Yarrow and I am your host.

My Embodied Business podcast explores what it means to build a livelihood with integrity, joy and anti capitalist values. I offer practical guidance on tech, strategy, ethical marketing, creativity and money and interview other small business owners who do things their own way. 

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Transcript

Hey, everyone, my name is Yarrow and you’re listening to the DIY small business podcast. Thank you so much for joining me after our break, which was quite spontaneous. I took last week off to rest and retreat and process a little bit. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything near enough processing before 2020. I just read a book and had an app and scratched the surface of it. But it still felt good and important. And even though I felt a bit restless and anxious about moving out of lockdown, it was needed. And I want more or less. So I don’t know, just putting that out there in the universe. I’m excited about today’s conversation, I spoke to the wonderful Kate Litterer her about breaking free from productivity culture. And I really hope that she was sitting with these questions as well about what is good enough, what does rest mean? Where next that you are also getting something out of this conversation. I also really want to say that I’m feeling so honoured and privileged and lucky to be surrounded by other small businesses right now who are being so brave and so courageous and flexible and creative, and also really honouring their need to rest and have time to just as well, it’s just yet feels really good that we’re here for each other. And I’m grateful for your listening as well. We spoke about many different things such as living with chronic pain and finding softness around limitations. He also spoke about the harmful expectations and the scarcity mindset. We often find in academia, about valuing invisible labour, or genuine pricing and accessibility and many other things. So I really hope that you’ll get something out of this. Kate also emailed me a few weeks back, so we recorded this in April. That is important to say, I feel like things are moving so fast at the moment. And yeah, we recorded this kind of really. And in the first wave of shock, I would say, and a little while back, he’d asked me to add a bit to what he said, which I really appreciate and will read to you and her own voice ever. It’s I can’t make her voice I’m sorry. in her own words, she said, I’ve been reflecting on what it means to rest to honour one’s personal resources to be productive and how to access. How access to these acts is influenced by structural racism. And witnessing many of my white friends and colleagues make self included finally showing up to protest in solidarity with bipoc folks in new ways after allowed social crest demanded that we address our complicity under white supremacy. Many people are exhausted, burnt out and overwhelmed. Things that previously would have prescribed prioritisation or time management to address. Yet that recommendation does not acknowledge the ways in which in which bipoc forks labour has been systematically under and undervalued for centuries. See the hashtag black in the ivory tower for an example of this and contemporary academia. I hope that as you listen to episode that you join me in reimagining the tools and suggestions they share an effort to dismantle white supremacy, through how we conceive of our and others labours to care for ourselves and one another and to prioritise the voices of bipap. Folks. Yes, thank you, Kate, I want to second that. And I’m grateful that we added that to the episode. I don’t have many announcements to make myself before I let you go and listen to this. I am running a free summer series of workshops. The first one has been on pricing and accessibility and economic justice, which was said great, fun, amazing conversations have had been that and you can get the recording. And then the next one is about building community media
for change, and also for businesses, which obviously can be the same thing. But I’m going to talk about podcasting, writing, blogging, z making things like kind of happening outside of social media, and the confines of those kinds of platforms, which you know, which can be great, but also complicated stuff. And I want to share tools to share our work more widely and really build solidarity and community and then in August, I’m running a workshop on no bullshit money mindset work, because obviously, yeah, this this year is bringing up a lot of stuff. It’s really difficult for many of us, there’s deep uncertainty. There’s also a lot of bullshit in the money mindset industry. Let’s be real. And I think that I’ve valuable, useful things that we can do for ourselves and each other, to look at our relationship with money, and to try to set up, set ourselves up in a way that is as resilient as we can be under capitalism. So if you don’t want to join those conversations or watch the replays, please sign up. I’ll link to that in the show notes. And I would love to have you. I’m also open to mentoring clients. And later in the summer, I could do a web design project or two. If you’re interested, just reach out and we’ll have a chat. Okay, I’ll let you listen now. Thank you so much. And thank you so much, also to Kate. One, this was my second stat. And I just had a giggle because I said, Oh, this is really that happened a long time and, and cried, please. But anyway, I am really excited for my guest. Today I’m speaking to Kayla ter was a productivity coach and runs a project called the tendon year, and has just so much to say about the beauty and value of going slow and really thinking about how we want to spend our time and energy in our days and how we want to structure the way that we show up and work. So as you know, those are things that are very close to my heart. And I’m always thinking about really making things easier. Like that’s super, super important to me. So, yeah, I’m just really excited to speak to Caden to see what we can chat about and Tango, and untangle together. Kay, thank you so much for being here. Thank you. I’m really looking forward to this. And thank you for that beautiful intro. I would love to start by asking you where you are in the world right now what nature is like around you.
Cool. So I’m in Boston, Massachusetts, a little outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and spring is starting. And obviously, a lot of people are in quarantine. So it’s a little quiet outside. But I’m very, very excited that we have set up a bird feeder, and it’s right outside the kitchen so the cats can watch it. So as the blooms are starting on the rose bushes here, there’s also a lot of birds. And I’ve also started feeding the squirrels so that they’ll not eat from the bird feeder. So I’m, that’s my, like, main spring excitement right now.
That’s so beautiful. I hear from people at the moment all the time believing things like, Oh my gosh, I’m so glad I put these, you know, planted the seeds. I’m so glad I have a garden. Now. It’s really kind of dad coming back to the things as
it is. Yeah, my partner and I moved into this apartment in September. So this is our first spring. And I’m also very excited about the rose bushes that were already here when we moved in. So seeing all the flowers starting to bloom is very cool.
Yeah, I can imagine. Can you tell us a little bit more about your work and how you came to do it?
Yes. So my work, I am a productivity coach, and also researcher, blogger, author and I came to this because, you know, many people, I think, come to reevaluate their productivity when they, you know, face some sort of obstacle and for me, in 2017, I developed chronic pain. And, you know, later on 2018, I realised I had fatigue and chronic illness. Since then, you know, I’ve treated my chronic pain, it’s still there. In January, I fell down the stairs and fractured my tailbone, so it came back. But you know, and have had a good, you know, set of doctors who have helped me to discover that I have left kind of like borrelia that’s similar to Lyme, so I have a treatment protocol, but I experienced fatigue, and I couldn’t sit for long periods of time, which meant I couldn’t work all the time. And, you know, I’m someone who had turned to work as a distraction and as a way to, you know, have a sense of self and you know, really associated my pride or my sense of worth with my work and my productivity. So in 2017 I really had to address that and it was a very emotional experience for me to have to relinquish control of work and find other ways to, you know, feel present and practice not, you know, just distracting with labour. And from that I you know, started listening to self development podcasts and productivity podcast and found great fascination and began to do personal practice, which I documented on a blog, which I’m sure we’ll talk about later. And I found that I was just amazed both with the tools, I was finding that literally, were helping me to work efficiently and to work, you know, less than to prioritise, but also that my whole conception of labour was shifting in terms of valuing, you know, taking care of my body over, just producing. And it was a huge shift that felt like a very political shift for me as well, that once I started practising that for myself, I really wanted to guide other people to shift their perception and, you know, create a scaffold so that they could shift their, the way that they laboured, and the way that they rested. And that was, you know, something that I did through blogging my own experience, and then eventually starting to coach other people. So I’ve always been passionate about making productivity more accessible, and also really kind of turning it on its head and saying, it’s not about just doing more and more, it’s really about being intentional. And that’s, you know, I use the term slowed activity to describe the coaching and the research that I do, because it’s really like productivity through the lens of mindfulness, intention, you know, slow living, rest is incredibly important. So those are the things that I’m very passionate about both for my own practice, but also guiding other people to institute that in their own practices.
Yeah, that’s so beautiful, I think you have a very bad backstory, I think I’ve seen in myself that sometimes play Yeah, especially in my 20s, when I was so frustrated, and kind of first, really conceptualising and waking up to the ways in which capitalism has had, you know, really impacted my sense of self worth around productivity, and how I could show up as a worker, and what that meant about me. And I think there was a time where I was then completely rejecting kind of any ideas or approaches around productivity, because I wanted to do the exact opposite. And I really, really love and appreciate that you found this beautiful, gentle and really like, curious way of guiding people to explore what it would mean to think about how we spend our time and energy kind of away from these pressures, because I think, even if we don’t want to kind of extract as much productivity and labour out of our bodies, there’s still a sense of kind of wanting and really, yeah, like wanting to feel like we’re contributing in a way that’s like authentic and sustainable, and regenerative. And that’s aligned with our values and our creativity. So I think you’re speaking for something that’s really important. Thank you. Thank you, of course. I’m also wondering, you touched on this a little bit. And I think it’s really big for us as people sometimes you know, and we all have our own story. And we’re about to to be someone who’s quite identified with their work, and then suddenly being an experience where that’s really shifting, and we can’t rely on our bodies to kind of be as available as there were to show up for the work in the way that we used to. That’s quite big, right? I think there’s big identity shifts that come with that. And I wondered if you can speak to data a bit more about what that’s been like, for you?
Sure, absolutely. I think that, for me, as an academic, I’m finishing my doctoral degree right now. Um, this was a huge shock to my system in that way, because in academia, as a graduate student, or even as a, you know, person who’s like, I’m not, but a person who’s like a junior faculty are on the tenure track, like, there is an expectation in academia that you do your normal level of work, but then you also exceed that, and there’s a sense of scarcity, and there’s a sense of competition. And it can, I’ve seen, I’ve participated in this myself, and I’ve seen colleagues and also just seeing this perpetuated both by I mean, just academia at large that we should always be doing more and more and more, and when I could not do that, and when I, you know, personally decided, like, No, I will not, you know, work until 10pm. No, I will not force myself to, you know, sit or stand in a way that’s painful to me. It I felt, I guess I felt like I was choosing to, you know, not participate in the same way. And in doing that, I actually decided that I wanted to leave academia, you know, I thought I looked ahead and was like, oh, like, I don’t imagine myself being able to put in the kind of labour that would be necessary to, for example, get tenure just literally the labour. And so making the decision to, you know, say these are my boundaries, even if I don’t see other people practising them or honouring them, or I see people afraid to set similar boundaries around availability or physical, you know, presents with doing labour or, you know, mental or emotional labour. You know, that was a, that was an interesting decision. And since then I have had other academics and many of my clients are academics as well share with me that they appreciate that approach that I have that is like, you should not or you can choose, you know, with a scaffolding you can put in place to not be participating in this, you know, workaholic culture. Yeah. So, there’s like, there was a big shift in my identity, identity of myself, where I was, like, I’m leaving academia, starting a business where I can work from home, on my own hours, if that makes sense. I don’t know, if you share. I mean, I know I’ve read your work. You know, I’ve just read your recent scene that you sent out. And so I assume that you, like, do you share that like that, that experience as well, when you’re shifting from the labour you were doing towards working for yourself?
Yeah, definitely. I think. Yeah, that’s been big. I’ve never intended to be in academia. But I have a lot of friends who are. And, yeah, so. So I thank you so much for sharing that story that’s relatable. And I think there’s definitely been, yeah, moments of anxiety. And we thinking so much of the ways that I was doing things when I shifted, I was working in startup companies since I was 20. And so I was working full time and studying for time in my early 20s, I did a distance degree. Because I was really scared of going into debt. For my studies, I was the first person, my family decoder University and a could have had access to a loan in Germany, but I just didn’t have the confidence. So I was choosing to work full time. And I’m studying in the evening and weekends. And that did not work, of course, and I’m so grateful every day now that I found better ways of doing things that work for myself in the long term, but it’s still also an exploration and it’s never perfect, and it has its own challenges as well, I think but like we said before we started recording, I think, especially right now I’m so deeply grateful to be working from home really every single day and feel very lucky. Yeah.
Oh, yes, absolutely. Thank you for sharing that. And I echo that we were talking about how I’m, I’ve always wanted to exclusively work from home and it’s phenomenal to be able to get up and stretch my body or you know, like, go get a snack or walk outside. Like these things that are very nourishing for my body working from home is like lessened my pain levels. It’s very good for me, and I’m very fortunate to be able to do it right now.
Yeah, me too. What has it been like for you to start a business? And do you feel like like, I’m especially interested I guess, in like the, the transition or the in the way that we unfurl almost when we we begin that journey and we look around us and fee and you know, how could I do this? How is this different? What has surprised you in that process? or what have you found exciting or challenging?
For me, starting a business was a slow drawn out process. Because like I said, I knew I wanted to finish my degree and I loved my research, I wanted to finish the doctoral degree. So you know, a few years ago, I you know, in 2017 when I was doing beginning my research into personal development and productivity and time management, those things I said if I can write this blog for a year published, you know, every week on the blog, and if I can stick with it, then I allow I will allow myself to completely shift and become a coach and an author, you know, which my dream my entire life has always been to be an author I think that’s many people’s dreams. So I just in that in 2017 was like you have a year to practice and then like, you know, continue to make blog posts so I created a lot of content and I you know, was doing some coaching on the side But didn’t you know, until that was done, really say okay, here I’m accepting clients paying clients for coaching. And, you know, even then saying, like, when I finish my dissertation, then I can finally write this book, I’m dreaming to write. So a business growing my business has been very like looking like a year ahead or like two years ahead and saying, Oh, I can’t wait to get to that point. And like having these big goals that I’m very excited about, which has been really fun, but sometimes I do feel Little petulant. And I’m like, Oh, I just want to write that book. Now. I just want to, like, you know, have a course now I just want to do these things now. And so it’s been a good practice and patience for me because I, you know, to walk my own talk, I want to be very, you know, prioritise certain, not just rather, I do want to prioritise. And I do not want to be doing like seven different things and stressing myself out. Does that make sense?
totally makes sense. And I think you’re speaking to so many things that I just really tempting, especially with online businesses, because everything is, in theory immediately available and could be done right away, right? Like we could have a new course out next week, or we could self publish a book. And, yeah, we have to be really discerning and think about what the right pace was, as at any given point in time. Absolutely.
Yeah, the pacing has been, it’s been, like a beautiful practice for me as well, to have something to really look forward to. And to also, you know, have something to commit to and come back to like, for example, I wrote a weekly blog post every week for two years. And like, that was a wonderful, beautiful practice, I have so much content now. And then I decided to, you know, shift from that to newsletter twice a month instead, you know, and I like that. But I’m very excited to shift to really writing, you know, a book. So it’s the shifts have been, you know, a very beautiful experience as well.
Yeah, I love that you’re describing that because a lot of people in my audience, I think, are nervous, around commitment and around changing their minds. And I think it’s really important to name some times, especially for people that are a few years further in, maybe not just at the very beginning, that it’s okay, and things still work out when you change your mind. I did very, very many things different than the beginning of my business. And I think I saw those, those experiments really like, almost like a playing field to test the waters. And I think it’s good to recognise them ourselves, then. We are really doing in many ways, something that hasn’t been around very much. It’s not like the Internet has been here for 80 years. And you know, it’s all been done before. Yeah. And in so many ways, it’s really, it’s really in its infancy still. And we’re still learning about how we respond to it, what it means to have a smartphone, what it means to spend all this time on screens and how we want to utilise that in a way that’s empowering rather than depleting. And honestly, most of time, I’m still very unsure about these questions, but want to be in the inquiry, I guess. Yeah.
Yeah, that’s interesting hearing you say that makes me think of how, I mean, I love working with coaches, I’ve worked with many coaches before. And you know, I love reading blogs and books and audio books I love I love learning, it’s my favourite thing, you know. And I sometimes forget that not everyone shares that preference, like not everyone is like, I can’t wait to go and learn more about take a course Well, you know, whatever mailing list. So it’s interesting, like when I’m speaking with other people, or my colleagues or with you, around us how we share, like a common a common experience in terms of like, well, you, you know, create this content, you learn these things. And, you know, I have some one of my best friends is like, I would never work with a coach, why would I work with someone when I can teach myself, you know, and that’s something you mentioned in New Zealand recently, but like, why would I? Like, I don’t know, maybe I’m going a little off topic here. But it is often interesting for me and a smart reality check to be reminded that like, this is not my like, my offerings are not for everybody, even though I like totally geek out about it.
Yeah, that’s, that’s really interesting. And something that I’ve also been wondering how sometimes, I think especially on Instagram, we’re in this little echo chamber that makes us feel like, we are definitely in a world where most people think the way we do really not like I can totally relate to what you just said about learning. I feel the same like I could, gosh, like I could, I want to learn so many things. And so excited. And I love taking classes, especially if I can do it from the comfort of my home. And also, I need to be careful about my intentions with taking those classes and how much I can actually really take in and I think on the internet, I’m pretty much surrounded by people who feel the same. But yeah, you’re probably right. You know, not everyone has that particular protein, that’s totally fine as well. Yeah. I would love to know a little bit more when you’re working with people, what does that look like? And how are you helping people kind of rethink their own productivity and how it’s how it’s related to their worth and also help them kind of structure the time and Make plans for what they want to do.
For me, I think that this is, I mean, there’s a few main things for this. Usually, the first thing that I want to do is, or that I do is, you know, speaking with clients is, you know, talking about and wondering what kind of labour they’re doing. And I do, you know, I very vocal supporter of valuing, like invisible labourers that we think like, Oh, I just have to do this and valuing labourers that are, you know, like, I don’t know, doing doing your laundry, cooking things that are expanding, like personal resources, like energy, focus, emotions, and things like that. So a lot of asking clients to shift their perspective to value all of the labours that they’re practising that are not just, you know, I’m writing an email, or I’m creating a product, so that we can, you know, in shifting that are able to honour that there is a limited amount of energy focus time that people have to spend. So that’s one thing that’s very important to me. And that helps us to measure the kind of labour that people are spending on things differently. So that mean, it might mean you know, like, one day, you don’t work on your job, because you have to go grocery shopping, especially right now, like when people are like very, it’s very stressful to go grocery shopping like. So like that labour is so big and as important, if not more important than reading your email or your chapter. So that’s labour, valuing labour is essential for me. And along with that, like getting really clear on what people’s intentions on goals are, because I something that breaks my heart is when people think that they’re not doing well enough, or they’re like not achieving their goals, when often they’re not explicitly clear on what they want to do. So I often stress making actionable and achievable goals. So actionable being what are you specifically wanting to do in which order breaking things into steps, and then achievable being realistic around like, Oh, I can accomplish this in an hour or today, it makes sense checking in with my body, I have the energy or spoons to do this amount of labour. So if you are approaching your work with that intention, and that awareness, you can complete your tasks and say, Wow, I did a really good job, I’m really proud of myself, instead of saying, oh, I’ll never accomplish this, I’m not good enough. Those sort of, you know, negative self talk. So having explicit clear, reasonable goals for yourself, and, you know, allowing yourself to accomplish those and congratulate yourself. Another thing that I really encourage is for people to take breaks. I think we don’t, I think many people probably don’t take enough breaks. And it might be because there’s a feeling of scarcity, there’s a feeling of like pressure, they want to accomplish things, perhaps there’s like a feeling of competition. And, you know, so encouraging people to take breaks is huge. And usually I do that through teaching people the Pomodoro method, do you use the Pomodoro method?
I don’t. But I’m really curious if you want to say a few more words on that.
Sure. Yeah, this is honestly whenever I coach people in this, it’s usually the thing that people are most you get that like, they get the most immediate results on it. And also just love it, I love it as well, it’s I use it all the time. So pomodoro is a pulse and pause method. So it means that you will work intentionally for 25 minutes on a goal that you have previously set. So say for me, it might be I’m going to revise this paragraph in 25 minutes, something reasonable. And then you set a timer and you work uninterrupted for 25 minutes. So don’t check email,
you know, don’t
I don’t know, go fix that book that’s looking weird on the bookshelf, you know, like focus, and then a timer goes off. And then you take a five minute intentional break. And I really encourage clients and try to hold myself accountable to this to you know, stand up stretch, get a drink of water, look out the window, look away from a screen, do some breathing exercises. And then you go back and do another pomodoro which is the 25 minutes of labour, and then five minutes of break. And in the traditional pomodoro method, you would do that for four sets. And then you would take a longer 15 to 30 minute break. So you can shift the times however you want. So you want to do 15 minutes of labour and 10 minutes of break or you know, 40 minutes of labour and 20 minutes of break up. It really doesn’t matter. You can shift it to what feels good for you and your body. But it allows you to focus and it allows you to to say oh I checked something off. So I’ll often tell clients who are working on A large long term project to measure you’ll do for pomodoros. Today, instead of you know, like, I’m going to finish a chapter. So you can finish, you can track your progress and actually feel good about that, because I have accomplished my goal it was to work for for intentional 25 minutes session. So pomodoro is, it’s very helpful for helping people to focus, it’s very helpful for tracking your progress. And it’s helpful for making sure that you take breaks. And I recently wrote a blog post about how people can use pomodoro to help navigate their technology use, especially like right now people are reading the news to find out things about COVID-19. So it’s like, if you’re feeling drawn to technology and news, you can say, 25 minutes, I don’t check tech. So you I use pomodoro to, you know, like, go for like walk the dog, we could really use it for anything you want to focus, not be interrupted, and then take breaks.
Yeah, that’s beautiful. Thank you. I would definitely check that out. And I kind of can’t believe that I haven’t. Really before, you know, it’s kind of been in the, in the field of my vision, I guess, in some ways, but I just haven’t tried it before. It does make a lot of sense. And I think it really, yeah, I think it makes working from home or just generally approaching something that is self directed. Much more gentle and approachable. Yeah, that’s cool.
I’m glad you like it. Yeah, there’s lots of free apps. Like I use some free apps online for it. You know, the person it’s called pomodoro. Because the person who invented it used a tomato timer, like a kitchen timer issue. Tomato, so pomodoro Yeah, it is. It’s gentle. And it’s a good way for people to you know, the thing I love most about it, just to reiterate, is that, you know, people are valuing and saying, tangibly, I have done, you know, a thing, I have done a pomodoro good enough, I’m allowed to stop working. So it can help with, you know, putting boundaries around labour.
Yeah, I think this get enough piece is so important. Right? And I think, yeah, just giving people permission to really find out what that means to them. And to find their own definition. That’s, I think, so important, because we really don’t need anymore. You know, people have voices or stories from the outside telling us what is good enough. We can just come up with our own build pacing with the Pomodoro and beyond. Yeah, that’s what I wanted to do. And I did it. And that’s great. And, yeah, it’s wonderful. I wonder how he came up with the word the attending here, it feels like, it’s so beautifully tying everything together that you spend for an explore.
Thank you. That’s kind. So the tending year is the name of my blog, but now it’s the name of my website. And I started this because I wanted, like I said, to hold myself accountable to, you know, practising personal development and productivity tools for a year. And to do that, I knew that I would, you know, write a blog post, and then like, say, for example, like, mindful consumption, or, you know, time management, something like that a theme for each week. And I would write about, you know, something each week and then update that. So I knew I wanted to theme it. And at first I was thinking, oh, maybe I’ll theme that abundance, you know, that’ll be my word for the year. And previously, I’d never had a word for the year. But abundance felt like a little bit too, like, a little bit too, like, got to put a smile on it. Like it felt a little too, like, you know, like what even is abundancy like, so instead I really liked tending, because tend the word tend is like has a dual meaning. So it’s both to 10 to something so to care for something like a plant or an animal or yourself your body and pretend to do something. So like, what are your practices, your habits, and I love the idea of what happens when you blend those things together. So I spent a year focused on my own tending practices. And after I did it for a year, I loved it. And so I was like, Oh, I’m doing it again. So I did it again in my still on the attending your blog, but my word for last year was garden because I wanted to think of my life as a garden like what do I what plants in my garden of my life need more attention or more tending to? or How can I nourish different things and that allowed me to bring more, you know, art and music and beauty and things like that into my life. Yeah, I still love the word tending. I recently got the word tender tattooed on my right hand so that whenever I’m writing, I see it whenever I’m like doing anything. It’s like I’m always on my hand remembering you know, to be tender and also to be a tender a person who tends
Oh my gosh, that is one of the most beautiful double meanings I’ve ever heard. That’s so cool. Think about your tattoo now. That’s great. And I really love how you’re weaving, like a sense of awe for life. As you were speaking about God, or gardening and art and these different things, I really felt like your work is so grounded, and yet so open to leaving spiritual concepts in as well. And one of your blog posts that I really loved was with me that would take well it’s called How to cope with negative emotions without spiritual bypassing. I was like, Yes. I’m so pleased. That is a very beautiful one. Do you maybe want to recap just a tiny bit of advice? Sure. Yeah.
I’m so glad you brought this up. Because I’m often confused with how so many, you know. I mean, like, I just listened to so many podcasts where people are like, I don’t want to get to move with this. And I’m like, please layer on the Whoo, it’s good spiritual, you know, so I just crave that I’m very spiritual person. And I weave it into my blog, you know, and into my practice. So thinking about, you know, like, to allow ourselves to cope with things without, you know, saying spiritual bypassing, like, we don’t have to say, like, Well, you know, everything happens for a reason, or, you know, the reason that this is happening is because Mercury’s in retrograde, and like, we don’t have to, you know, we are allowed to accept that we feel, you know, we are allowed to accept that our experiences may be negative, it may not just be like this, like love and light, like we were talking about before. So we don’t have to just spiritually, you know, come up with some sort of reason for why things are happening as a way to sort of, we can guess, late ourselves, I think, let me do that. And we can, you know, erase the fact that they’re, like, very real, like, systemic things that are affecting people’s lived experiences and material experiences. So I’m very glad that that is the blog post that you mentioned. Because, you know, not many people often do talk to me about the spiritual practice that you know, imbues my, my work and my life. So thank you.
Yeah, you’re welcome. Yeah, it does recommend anyone who’s interested to check it out as well. We can link it in the show notes if that’s okay. Sure. Yeah. Yeah, it’s a it’s a really great one. We have said so many things and touched on Yeah, really beautiful things that I want everyone to know, this this one thing that’s on my mind as well. And this could technically be a really big questions, I just want to give you permission to also keep it small and doable. Because, oh my gosh, it’s just such a wild thing, time that we’re in. But I’m wondering what you’re wishing for us as a collective or community of small business owners. And I, you know, I think I just want to be clear that I’m not asking this in the direction of this pandemic has happened for a reason. And it’s, it’s gonna change the way we all work. And this is the time to figure out exactly and have a vision for what that’s going to look like, because I think that’s just impossible. But I just wonder, kind of what you’re wishing for at the moment and what feels good and exciting. And what would you like people that are maybe interested in starting a business or they’re just at the beginning to know more about?
Sure. That’s a beautiful question. It is big, but it’s a good question. And I’m glad to be thinking about I think that the first thing that comes to my mind is thinking of like prioritising care for ourselves and care for others care for our community, and prioritising our, you know, just like, you know, physical, emotional, mental spiritual sense of grounding. So honouring that and along with that, like respecting and celebrating people’s boundaries around their labour. So, like, I would be thrilled to see other you know, small business owners like being, you know, very clear around like, this is what I’m able to do this is, you know, what I’m in need of, like, Can people help to support me right now? I think that that sounds very important and like, valuing, I guess, yeah, like valuing the labour that we are doing right now. And I think even more than just like valuing my own labour because I feel like with my productivity practices, like I’m very well researched in this stuff, I know how to set boundaries around my own labour and output, but like, encouraging other folks to do that as well to like value like you were doing emotional labour as well as you know, like trying to figure out if you want to even be selling things right now like honouring the fact that that is an emotional process. I just released a new coaching offering and it was a bit like I spent weeks thinking about what to price it like just thinking about Like, how do we, how do we even, um, you know, sell right now, whereas at the same time, I’m like, all of my friends, I want you to sell your things because I want you to have money because I want you to, you know, feel sustained. So it’s honouring that we are, you know, emotionally and, you know, mentally spiritually labouring right now. And I really, yeah, just prioritising care for ourselves and one another right now, it’s, it’s very messy, it’s very sensitive, I would love if I could hold space for, you know, my friends and colleagues and allow them to have a full experience and feel comfortable doing that with me.
Wow, that’s really such a beautiful way of describing it. I feel like those are things that I’ve been lingering with, if that’s an expression, but I haven’t been able to express it in a way especially the peace around. Yeah, it really being messy and sensitive and holding space or supporting people in being in the full experience of it and acknowledging all these different kinds of labour that are associated just with being alive in these times, let alone adding things to that like launching something or, you know, creating something new. It’s, it is really big. Yeah, you’re totally right. And I’m so glad that you’re talking about that.
Thank you. And I think like the one thing I would want I want to add to is like, I recently had a newsletter my newsletters called the attending letter. And I recently had attending letter about how sharing with my readers about how the first couple or like the first week I spent at home, I just sort of like reverted back to workaholic tendencies, and was just hiding and work because I did not know how to cope with and control the fact that things were just so frightening right now. And so acknowledging that there we may feel, you know, a desire to turn towards our work as a coping mechanism. And while everyone should use whatever coping mechanism is, you know, safe and works for them right now, you know, like, no judgement with that. But, like encouraging us to think critically about our relationship to our labour right now and to our work right now, because I could see and I know, personally for me, like, that was one of the first things I did as a coping mechanism was like, I need to work and I sort of regressed back into, you know, where I was, where I had been before, where work was a just a way to numb out. So that’s something to also think about, as well as I would want people to practice. Like, for me, I’m like, No, you’re not going to work. You’re going to I’m taking an intro to classical music class, you know, like, go take your class music class or go like I just got watercolours go, what do watercolours or you know, like, Garden, so like, recognising our relationship with our labour right now. And it’s, it’s hard, I went to compassionately witnessed that this is difficult for many people. And that everyone’s experience is different. I’m able to, you know, work from home right now, my partner has a job, you know, like, everyone’s experiences are different, as well. I want to give everybody a hug, and just hold space for them to share how they feel.
Maybe, yeah, yes. And also for everyone to really have choices around this. Like, there’s there’s so many people out there in precarious working situations and zero hour contracts, or, oh, yeah. And I just, yeah, just really my heart breaks for, for so many people that are really in deep crisis and panic right now. And don’t even have the option to think about those things that makes me feel really passionate about a universal basic income. And I really hope that that’s something that may be will be drawn more into focus, as we move through this, but yeah, just to also demuro back, I totally relate to that. I’ve also had moments in the beginning where I just had just kind of was hiding and work like he was saying, I really tried to stay on top of things. And it’s still like this weird dance of going in and out of holding things pretty loosely and showing up for things that feel good right now, like this conversation. I’ve been really looking forward to and still really wanted to do it because there are so often really nourishing this one really is and you know, it feels good to stay connected to the creative process in some way. ething and at the same time, I’ve really been noticing that I’m sleeping like crazy at the moment, just to just to process all that’s happening and I feel often that I’m napping and I wake up even more tired than When I fell asleep, and it just almost feels like the rest is never enough. So, yeah, that’s really real. If not,
yeah, I witnessed that I’ve been sleeping a lot more as well. Yeah.
Wow. Yeah. Is there anything else that you would like to share before we close?
I don’t know, I’m very pleased that in this conversation, we’ve been able to talk about productivity, not just in terms of, you know, like, output and, and tools, which are wonderful and helpful, but really, in terms of, you know, presence and, you know, intentionality and slowing down. That’s been very nice. That’s a very important part of my work as a coach and researcher. So, it’s been nice to chat about that.
I really, really loved talking to you, too. There’s been so many beautiful nuggets that I really excited to share. And that I think, also I will sit with more myself. Yeah, because it’s like a really continuous ongoing journey of taking it in and implementing. And then I like thinking of it as this Brio journey where there’s an expression code, I think it’s called next level, next level, something like that. Yeah. It’s just about you know, like encountering a concept once, but then in times like these or in different circumstances, at a different time in our lives, really meeting the same concept and challenge again, and grounding deeper into these practices. feels really great. So thank you so much for sharing everything that you’ve shared. And I would love to point people your way as well. Can you let us know what you’re currently offering and where people can find you? Sure. Thank
you. So right now I’ve got two coaching offering. So the first this is a thing I’ve been doing for a while it’s success and accountability, coaching and that I only take around four to five clients a month on that, but it’s a you know, developed coaching experience where I have sessions and then follow up with and help my clients to stay accountable to deadlines and goals that we come up with together. And the second thing I’m offering which I just recently released is single session, slowed activity coaching. So this is a you know, hour long one on one virtual coaching session that we’ll have where we meet, we work on one to two things and then at the end of our session, you go off and you know, you know continue working on those on your own. So that one’s at a lower price point. So you can find me at the attending near comm also my Instagram is attending near I have a Facebook, I post on Instagram, you know pretty regularly but I also have a mailing list where I send out a newsletter every two weeks so this is I really liked the newsletters are a little different from the blogs and that they’re a little bit more personal and I’m sharing health stories and you know, things that I’m reading practices I’m doing Yeah, so newsletter coaching blog, social media.
Thank you so much and willing to that initial as well as if people didn’t catch it then it will definitely all be bad. Thank you so so much. It was really beautiful. To talk to you. This was this is such a beautiful part of my day. Thank you so much. Thank you

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